List of wartime cross-dressers

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Hannah Snell (1723–1792) was a British woman who disguised herself as a man and became a soldier

Many people have engaged in cross-dressing during wartime under various circumstances and for various motives. This has been especially true of women, whether while serving as a soldier in otherwise all-male armies, while protecting themselves or disguising their identity in dangerous circumstances, or for other purposes.

Conversely, men would dress as women to avoid being drafted, the mythological precedent for this being Achilles hiding at the court of Lycomedes dressed as a girl to avoid participation in the Trojan War.

Historical[edit]

Antiquity[edit]

Early Middle Ages[edit]

Fourteenth century[edit]

  • Joanna of Flanders (c. 1295–1374) led the Montfortist faction in Brittany in the 1340s after the capture of her husband left her as the titular head of the family. She wore male dress at engagements such as the siege of Hennebont.

Fifteenth century[edit]

Joan of Arc enters Orléans (painting by J.J. Sherer, 1887)
  • Onorata Rodiani (1403–1452) was an Italian mercenary who served as a cavalry soldier, disguised in male clothing and with a male name, under a condottieri (freelance commander) named Oldrado Lampugnano beginning in 1423.[4]
  • Jacqueline of Wittelsbach, Countess of Hainaut, Holland and Zeeland (1401–1436) led the Hoek faction (the aristocratic faction) in Holland. Jacqueline and one of her servants disguised themselves as soldiers to escape confinement in Ghent.[5]
  • Joan of Arc (1412–1431) is a folk heroine of France and a Roman Catholic saint. A peasant girl born in what is now eastern France who claimed divine guidance, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War. After being captured by her enemies, she was burned at the stake for heresy when she was 19 years old. She journeyed through hostile Burgundian territory disguised as a male soldier.

Sixteenth century[edit]

Seventeenth century[edit]

Eighteenth century[edit]

Nineteenth century[edit]

Twentieth century[edit]

As a major plot device in fiction[edit]

  • In J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings, Éowyn, the White Lady of Rohan, pretends to be a man and slips off to combat the forces of Mordor. When confronting the Lord of the Nazgûl over her father's body, he tells her that "no man will kill me", at which point she laughs, casts aside her helmet to reveal her long hair, and kills him, with the help of a hobbit.
  • In All the Queen's Men, a 2001 comedy set during WWII, cross-dressing is a central plot device.
  • Terry Pratchett's novel Monstrous Regiment is a satirical look at the phenomenon.
  • I Was a Male War Bride is a comedy where the male French officer, played by Cary Grant, must dress like a woman to return as a war bride of his American military wife.
  • One of the running gags of the TV series M*A*S*H is Klinger's attempts to get discharged from military service by crossdressing.
  • In the Disney film Mulan, which is based on the story of Hua Mulan, Mulan dresses as a male to save her father from being drafted.
  • In Tamora Pierce's The Song of the Lioness quartet of books, Alanna of Trebond disguises herself as a boy to train to become a royal knight, a position only given to noble-born boys.
  • Genesis Climber Mospeada was perhaps the first anime series to feature a regular crossdresser, Yellow Belmont, amongst the main protagonists.
  • H. E. Bates's novel The Triple Echo is about a World War II army deserter who cross-dresses to avoid arrest. This was made into a film in 1972.
  • Mary "Jacky" Faber does this as the titular heroine of the Bloody Jack series of novels, fighting in the Napoleonic Wars.
  • Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, a steampunk novel in which Deryn "Dylan" Sharp disguises herself so she can join the Royal Air Service.
  • In the manga and subsequent television series The Rose of Versailles, Lady Oscar François de Jarjayes acts as the head of the Versailles royal guards and the personal bodyguard of Princess, later Queen, Marie Antoinette during the years leading up to the French Revolution. What is unique about her cross-dressing is that, while Oscar wears men's clothing full-time and conducts herself as a man, she is open about being female.
  • The Shadow Campaigns novel series by Django Wexler has a female main character rise through the ranks of an army while disguised as a man.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Wiley Blackwell encyclopedia of gender and sexuality studies. Naples, Nancy A.,. Malden, MA. ISBN 9781118905388. OCLC 933432480.CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. ^ "Achilles among the Daughters of Lycomedes (Getty Museum)". The J. Paul Getty in Los Angeles. Retrieved 2019-03-15.
  3. ^ The Wiley Blackwell encyclopedia of gender and sexuality studies. Naples, Nancy A.,. Malden, MA. ISBN 9781118905388. OCLC 933432480.CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ 1834-1900., Clayton, Ellen Creathorne, (1879). Female Warriors : Memorials of Female Valour and Heroism, from the Mythological Ages to the Present Era. Tinsley Brothers. OCLC 963750555.
  5. ^ Vaughan, Richard. Philip the Good. pp. 34–49.
  6. ^ The Wiley Blackwell encyclopedia of gender and sexuality studies. Naples, Nancy A.,, Hoogland, Renée C., 1960-, Wickramasinghe, Maithree,, Wong, Wai-Ching Angela, 1959-. Malden, MA. ISBN 9781405196949. OCLC 933386043.CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. ^ Davies, Christian (1740). The life and adventures of Mrs. Christian Davies, commonly called Mother Ross. London.
  8. ^ Dall, Wells Healey Caroline Wells Healey; Dall, Caroline (April 2010). The College, the Market, and the Court. Applewood Books. ISBN 9781429043441.
  9. ^ "Charles Edward Stewart: The Young Pretender". The Scotsman. UK. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  10. ^ The Wiley Blackwell encyclopedia of gender and sexuality studies. Naples, Nancy A.,, Hoogland, Renée C., 1960-, Wickramasinghe, Maithree,, Wong, Wai-Ching Angela, 1959-. Malden, MA. ISBN 9781405196949. OCLC 933386043.CS1 maint: others (link)
  11. ^ Wakeman, Sarah Rosetta; Burgess, Lauren Cook (1994). An Uncommon Soldier: The Civil War Letters of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, alias Pvt. Lyons Wakeman, 153rd Regiment, New York State Volunteers, 1862–1864. The Minerva Center. ISBN 0963489518. OCLC 30933373.
  12. ^ "Hispanics in the Military". Valerosos.com. Retrieved 2013-10-22.
  13. ^ "The Hispanic Experience – Contributions to America's Defense". Houstonculture.org. Retrieved 2013-10-22.
  14. ^ "Kvinnorna som klippte håret, tog på sig manskläder och tog värvning", Studio Ett , Sveriges Radio, 7 October 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  15. ^ Hirschfeld, Magnus (1930). The Sexual History Of The World War (revised edition 1946). Cadillac Publishing. Page 100.
  16. ^ Jones, David E. (2000). Women Warriors: A History. Washington D.C.: Brassey's. p. 134 ISBN 1-57488-206-6
  17. ^ Salmonson, Jessica Amanda (1991). The Encyclopedia of Amazons. Paragon House. Page 236. ISBN 1-55778-420-5
  18. ^ Liepman, Ruth (1997). Maybe Luck Isn't Just Chance. Northwestern UP. p. 66. ISBN 9780810112957.
  19. ^ "Profile: A trusted leader". news.bbc.co.uk. January 27, 2000. Retrieved 2008-06-12.